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Aug 2018
I could say
   “Ni hao”
for “Good morning,”
and it was only polite to say
    “Xie xie”
for “Thank you.”

That was my limit
until, in a babble of unfamiliar sounds,
I heard the word, “**-murr,”
and then again, “**-murr.”
**-murr? I thought.
Do they have The Simpsons in China?
But it was only “back door.”

Later, struggling to board a bus by the middle door,
I heard the conductor say,
– and I could even hear the exclamation mark –
I knew this time he wasn’t talking about The Simpsons,
and I had a pretty good idea
he wasn’t a fan of classical Greek poetry either.

But I didn’t want to be left on the pavement
when he closed all the doors and drove off.
So I just squeezed in by the middle door,
as if it was all Chinese to me.
I just re-discovered this on a memory stick I had completely forgotten.  It dates from a trip we made to China several years ago - no, make that "many years ago."  Unfortunately, My computer doesn't recognise the Chinese characters, so I have to rely on the phonetic version.
Paul Hansford
Written by
Paul Hansford  81/M/England
     Christine Ely, Baylee Kaye, --- and Scorpio
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